Some time ago I began to collect interesting and important printed references to the causes, conduct, and results of the deplorable war in South Africa. Having been advised that a condensed selection of this mass of literature would be useful to those who, like myself, wish to influence public opinion in favour of a calmer and more just consideration of the claims of the Boer Republics to their Internal Independence, I have attempted to carry out the suggestion.
I feel considerable diffidence in offering this work to the public, as I am fully conscious of the lack of suitable training for such a task, and therefore, if it may chance to fall into the hands of litterateurs, I beg them to remember that it has been undertaken from a sense of duty; accompanied by feelings of shame and pain that such labours are necessary in "Free England" in the Twentieth Century.
Nearly two-thirds of the following pages were prepared, and almost ready for publication in September last, when the Election was sprung upon the country. Wishing to render personal service in that false and misleading contest, I was obliged to put them aside. A few of them, which the National Reform Union thought suitable for circulation as leaflets, were added to the already enormous mass of literature subsequently issued from its Office for distribution throughout the country.
With the object of attaining some sense of order and sequence in the grouping of these multifarious references to the War, and to enable me to outline its history, and indicate what I conceive to be its causes, I have divided the subject into Sections. For the Introduction to Section 3 I am indebted to Mr. J. A. Hobson, the able author of "The War in South Africa: its Causes and Effects," a work which made a strong impression upon me, as I find it usually does on its numerous readers. The cuttings from the newspapers are supplemented by extracts from Mr. Frederick Harrison's "Boer Republics"; "Liberalism and the Empire"; Mr. Stead's publications: "What we are fighting for," by Mr. W. P. Byles; the above-mentioned work by Mr. Hobson; and from those of many other capable writers.